Kailub Russell topped the Big Buck GNCC. Photography by Ken Hill

Kailub Russell claimed his third GNCC win in a row at the Big Buck in South Carolina. Photography by Ken Hill

FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell captured his third win in a row and the points lead in the 2014 Amsoil Grand National Cross Country Series when he claimed victory in the 18th Annual VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina, April 13. Although he took the checkered flag with about a minute cushion over rival, and teammate, Charlie Mullins, it wasn’t an easy win for Russell, who had to come from behind after getting slowed by a fallen rider early in the race.

"I was about 30 seconds down from Charlie's lead and it was tough to make moves real fast and get around those guys quick so I just chose good lines,” Russell said. “I knew that if I could catch him [Mullins] I was going to win.”

After giving up the lead to Russell, Mullins tried to keep the pressure on his teammate but a couple of mistakes and an encounter with a tree ended that plan. He still hung on to finish second overall.

"I clipped a lapper and ended up hitting a tree and hitting my hand pretty good," Mullins said. "The last few laps were pretty tough but I just did the best I could and didn't really make up any time."

Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Josh Strang ran into issues firing his bike up on the start, where he immediately tucked in behind Russell on the opening lap. Strang made his way into the third-place position and set his sights on Mullins for second place. Just as he reeled the KTM duo in, Strang had a crash that set him back a little further. Despite a valiant effort on the final lap, Strang wasn't able to catch the leaders in time for the checkered flag.

Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong enjoyed his best ride ever in the XC1 class, finishing fourth ahead of N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley.

Russell will head into round five with a three-point lead in the series over Mullins.

The XC2 Pro Lites championship battled heated up as reigning champ Grant Baylor took over the points lead with a big win in his home state. It wasn't Baylor's from the beginning, though, as Raines Riding University/Yamaha-backed Ricky Russell led five of the six laps out there. Russell experienced a crash on the final lap that allowed Baylor to move by for the win.

Russell held on to finish second, while North Carolina's Trevor Bollinger, round three XC2 winner, rounded out the class podium with a third-place finish.

N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha's Jessica Patterson secured her first WXC class win battling it out with second-place finisher Factory FMF/KTM's Kacy Martinez. Ashley Copeland earned her first podium finish of the season.

RESULTS

VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC

Union, S.C.

Round 4 of 13

Sunday, April 13

XC1:

1 Kailub Russell (KTM)

2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

3. Josh Strang (Yam)

4. Andrew DeLong (Hus)

5. Paul Whibley (Yam)

6. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)

7. Steward Baylor (KTM)

8. Jason Thomas (KTM)

9. Ryan Sipes (KTM)

10. Takeshi Koikeda (Hon)

XC2:

1. Grant Baylor (KTM)

2. Ricky Russell (Yam)

3. Trevor Bollinger (Hon)

4. Layne Michael (Hon)

5. Jesse Groemm (KTM)

6. Callan May (Yam)

7. Sam Evans (Yam)

8. Shane Hufford Jr. (KTM)

9. Jeddediah Haines (Yam)

10. Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)

 

 

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